I met her through Hos, a friendship I’ve had for a short time. I had invited him and his photographer friend (and my acquaintance) JR out to `dinner in the desert’, something I REALLY like to do. I was going to par boil then bbq some chicken, salad, a potatoes wrapped in tinfoil. I do this often with friends. Go all the way east on Broadway, make a right on Freeman, follow that all the way to the end, make a left onto Old Spanish Trail go a short distance and make your first left again into Saguaro East. If you have a senior pass like I do you can bring as many “juniors or senior in as fit in your vehicle. Gail came with me and Alahundra showed up last (Mexican concerned photographer doing photos as relates to, her home town). Laura brought Wayne and Carl finished the group out. JR called last minute and said he was going back up to Phoenix to bring back a fabulous redhead.
That was more than annoying since I had borrowed money and spent money according to whom I expected. Annoyed at my reaction, he said something about
“I’ll buy you chicken”.
He called the next day inviting me to dinner wherever I wanted to go, inviting Gail, bringing as his guest JR and the fab redhead. I’m already there when she walks in in a very low cut tight fitting white dress. I’m in fine form and so is a relaxed JR. Most be the girl because in the morning he was very precise and tight and now he was flowing. I tried to be charming but her cleavage was distracting me. I mentioned her breasts and Hos reprimanded me and, I think, JR laughed. She got flaustered and placed two napkins over her freckled breasts. That I liked even better and managed to get her to sign one of the napkins.
At some point over chicken wings and shrimp with noodles she mentioned she wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Personally, it doesn’t do anything for me. Just a big hole in the ground without ruins or many if any pictoglyphs. If the ancient peoples didn’t `see it’, I wasn’t seeing it. I’d rather go to Canyon de Chelly or Monument Valley, BUT a female completes my work, so offered to take her. The two men encouraged her to do it. To have an “adventure”. I should have known then what I know now. To her I was a freak and she wanted something freaky…a career move.
I wasn’t attracted to her and she definitely wasn’t attracted to me or even playing me. Things seemed to be spinning in her head and I suggested JR come along. Hw declined and noted I had no backseat…BUT I do. Then Hos chimed up pointing out that he had paid for JR’s room and JR couldn’t leave. Humm. Two guys and a woman broke and one wealthy dude. It can’t work but I correctly figured there was blog material in the bog of this Cube of 4 “marginal"
I got up at 5 and washed the car at a car wash. I was supposed to pick her up at 10 but I was running late, Then she called at 9 saying she just woke up. (A bad sign). I assumed she was at Hos’ hotel in the Desert. Nope. After suggesting she come down to Tucson from the Biltmore in Scotsdale and that he would pay for her, knowing she was broke, he unceremiously dropped her at the Hampton Inn and drove away. (Her) Visa to the rescue. I don’t know if there is a syndrome but he had it. Boasting
grand promises, he later reconsiders and doesn't do as he has promised. The finest example I can give is after inviting us all to dinner at a restaurant of my choice and eating enough for two people he lays down a $20 dollar bill on top of the check and sits back smugly like a character in Alice in Wonderland or Star Trek. The other two are stunned. I am not, since I’m 400 dollars overdrawn and have no money to contribute. There is stammering and gasps as JR and Melody dig for money. Finally, feigning disgust, Hos lays down another twenty!
She needs more time…I need more time to fill the truck with vintage Western wear, food and tools to cook with. I start getting alternate calls from JR and Melody. I get a txt from Melody:
Okay I have been waiting outside for awhile. JR is stuck in a weird situation. He says he is going to escape Hos and go to a hotel. Maybe we should drive him.
Only if he doesn’t mind being a hood ornament. The truck is full. He calls and says he is at Hotel Congress.
He suggests that instead of she and I driving north I should take her “to interesting places around town and shoot her”. No thanks I tell him.
I have no interest in being a tour guide. She’s not even my type. She’s not comfortable with nudity or partial nudity and I’m starting to think she’s crazier than a bedbug. Plus I wasn’t able to get a good face shot at the dinner table the nite before. The key to my success is I pick subjects that are photogenic in the manner I like. I told him that I was staying home and pleased to drop the whole proposed trip.
Immediately I get a call from Melody that going with me is more important than a relationship with JR. She likes to have a guy in every city but this (me shooting her) is more important. I continue packing till JR calls again and says he will come with us and is it alright if the two of them go off alone at nite at the end of the day. I kill that idea and go off to pick up Melody.
We laughed a lot over Mexican late lunch at Lupe’s where rt 79 meets Oracle Rd and snuck shots of tequila and squirts of sliced lime. She tells me about this boyfriend and that broken promise till ‘drama queen’ looms over her head.
We stop to take photos along the west rim of rt 79 and she seems to be enjoying herself. She keeps mentioning “an adventure”. Then she tells me I look like Cheetch of Cheetch and Chong. Then she tells me in detail about her sex play “with the sickiest drummer” ever she met in Nashville last week after he claims she gave him her number when she was so drunk she couldn’t remember having done so.
It was hard to tell which guy was which so I nodded my head and told her to let me see her tits and she said why do men keep wanting her. All she has to do to find a guy is go somewhere and pick one out, she related.
We shot near some long neck vultures with red becks like from a comic in Cracked magazine and then she asked me if I had ever done nudes! When we got back in the car she gleefully wanted to tell me how she got an upgrade at the Biltmore hotel in Scottsdale.
She told me before she went (she’s from the north) she asked her boyfriend (old new current I couldn’t dysifer) for a lock of his long hair. The nite of the first nite she put it in her bed and called the front desk at 2 am complaining of having found hair in her bed! The upgraded her to a $500 room and compted her breakfast. (I felt a bit sick to my stomach). I asked her if she feared the maid might have gotten fired subsequently. She batted her eyes and said she hadn’t thought of that. Don’t get me wrong. I have stolen my share of cowboy dinner plates, Denny’s sugar packets and many many too many soaps from Motel 6 (I stayed there six times in 2011) but never at risk of someone’s job.
The secret shots of tequila not film increased when we stopped at Casa Denogean. She kept eyeing the young (21 yrs old) Nestor. She asked me to take their photo together then she told me about the 21 yr old who picked her up in Nashville who was someone different than the `sick’ drummer. She had come to Nashville for inspiration to finish her cd. She was a trained singer, besides a Pilates instructress. We took more photos and as we were leaving a police officer drove up and Melody got excited and wanted to be shot with him. He asked us to wait until his partner came since both she and the other officer were from up north.
They asked if we wanted her in handcuffs, Nice idea but not tonight, or at least not yet. The police warned us to watch out for elk on the ridge once we cleared the tunnel.
I saw no elk and headed into Miami, deserted except for the 412 Bar on Live Oak street. Bars are always good to shoot in. She ordered a shot for each of us of patron and went off to the girl’s room. When she came back she was on her smart phone talking to JR back in his hotel room at the Congress (he told me later he didn’t sleep from all the noise). She looked good pacing back and forth in my low cut black Christmas dress with white fur trim, her head framed by the grey ten gallon cowboy hat I had asked her to wear. But I was pissed. I had asked her to stay present while we shot and now she was rattling off her woes to JR (forever the victim). After a time, she came back to the bar and as she was about to hang up said “I’ll call you back”.
The spell was broke I was done. I figured I’d fine a place for us to sleep and I’d drive her back to Tucson the next day. I asked her to change back into her clothes and she gave me that pissed off look and asked if I just wanted my clothes back or was I angry. I said both. She stormed off to the bathroom and came back with my dress in hand. At the truck she demanded I drive us back to Tucson. I told her I wouldn’t since I was exhausted and had been drinking. She grabbed her bag and her Frank Lloyd Wright lamp in a box she had bought at Taliesin as a present and the remaining bottle of tequila and put it all on the sidewalk.
No hug no embrace before driving away. I felt a great sense of relief figuring she had called Hos or JR to come get her. After all, she had her visa card. I had lost mine years ago. JR told me subsequently she had gotten herself to Phoenix.
I drove back giddy but tired as far as a big overhanging tree in the prison town of Florence and fell asleep with my driver’s seat set back. Around two am I was awoken by a text message and read:
“Luckily, I have your license plate asshole. You fucked with the wrong girl”.
Shit! As I drove to find a cop I kept wandering why I hadn’t been stopped. I found one drinking coffee and eating a glazed donut. I went over and was about to ask him what I should do and noticed my license plate was exactly where it should have been! Either she was so drunk she stole the wrong truck’s license plate or she copied down my license which is fine with me. I bought a coffee and drove back alone to Tucson twelve hours after I left.
Epilogue. JR wakes me from my Sunday afternoon siesta and wants to know what happened. I tell him thinking I’m talking with Hos. Then he wants to know how I could leave her in Miami. I think about having been raised by an alcoholic dad. What drunk decisions by an adult (Melody is 39 yrs young) mean to me and tell him I felt fine doing her bidding- leaving her in Miami. If I realize someone is an alcoholic I go away. I drove away. I invited him to a vegetarian brunch but he told me he needs to “chill” by the pool.